September 26th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Running an emulator counts as remastered now?

Recognized as a cult classic, Shenmue is a revenge story jam-packed with side missions, mini-games, and incredibly outrageous people. Originally released on the Sega Dreamcast in 1991 and 2001, this action adventure game series set a new high point for what games could achieve. The remaster aims to give old fans a chance to receive the adventure and newcomers a better way to play. Shenmue 1 & 2 HD Remastered released August 21, 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC in hopes of capturing the essence of its legacy.

GRAPHICS: 1/2

Yes its true the game looks better than it once did. However it doesn’t look amazing. This port looks like it should have been released years ago on PS3 and Xbox 360. Colors are a bit more vibrant but overall it looks and feels a lot like the Dreamcast version. For some people that might be exactly what they expect from a remaster. Others may be expecting a current generation version of an old game they loved. Unfortunately, this is the double edged sword of remasters. The biggest improvements are from a technical stand point but because Shenmue was so ahead of its time (and expensive to make) even those improvements fall flat. They are the type of improvements only visible to the people inspecting the game for them. The game doesn’t look bad, especially not for the price tag, it just feels less like a remaster and more like a Dreamcast emulator running on a new generation console.

STORY: 1/2

The story of Shenmue is a well crafted experience held back only by technical limitations of the hardware from when it originally released. The HD Remaster served as an opportunity to make corrections to the pacing and delivery. Sega didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. Again, a note of the double edged sword that is drawn whenever a classic is brought to the upgrade table. Old fans will no doubt enjoy every second of reminiscing Ryo’s revenge story while new comers may need some assistance pushing through its quirks. A strange man named Lan Di kills Ryo’s father to steal an ancient mirror. Ryo goes on a manhunt to kill Lan Di and learns the legacy behind the mirror stolen and its counterpart/twin mirror.

AUDIO: 0/2

The voice acting is terrible. Sorry, not sorry. It had to be said. That was an issue in the original version. It seems to have also been carried over along with the tank controls (more on that late). Other sounds in the game are nearly non existent. This is literally the quietest world of all time despite all the NPCs seemingly engaging in conversation all the time. It’s just eerily quiet. Shenmue 2 does a better job of being more audible but still feels terrifyingly lacking. The only good thing about the audio is that the original Japanese voiceover is included as an option as well, this way there is something to listen to. Which is really good if you don’t understand Japanese because then you can’t tell if it’s good or bad acting. Other than that, it’s just really punchy, low quality recordings being fired at you all the time.

GAMEPLAY: 1/2

On one hand the gameplay is absolutely phenomenal considering when the original game released. On the other hand, it’s 2018. Tank controls are not acceptable. They make maneuvering the world considerably difficult and uncomfortable. Sega should have (pretty much sums up this whole review) given this remaster a little more love. Unlike Capcom’s Resident Evil remaster, this game held on to all the things that show its age. Sloppy camera, bad controls, and awkward conversations flows. Some dialogue interactions just stop in the middle of discussion. This prompts the player to engage the NPC again to get the rest of what they were saying. The best part of the gameplay is still the fighting mechanics. Modeled after the Sega classic Virtua Fighter, Shenmue gives Ryo so much flexibility and control in fights. All that control is quickly taken away because unlike Virtua Fighter, these fights take place in areas not designed for fighting so the camera issues show their ugly face again. Forklift racing is still pretty dope though.

FUN: 1/2

Reliving this old game as a new game shows how far games have really come. It was fun in a nostalgic way to revisit the world of Shenmue. Sadly, it was not fun in a “this is 2018 and this is a fun game to play” way. The control, camera, and audio issues cause more frustration to the average gamer than the excitement of the story brings. It was painful to feel the excitement and joy slowly fade away as so many things that should have been improved just smacked the fun out the game.

Perhaps, for some extremely dedicated fans out in the world returning to the world of Shenmue was the most fun thing they could have done all year. For many others, this game is a reminder that a lot of what made some classic games great were the boundaries they were breaking at the time. Shenmue 1 & 2 are the Eminem of video games. Maybe no one will ever accomplish as much in a pound for pound equivalent level of what they did. But it’s hard to argue that nothing better exists.

Sometimes we get what we wish for and it disappoints. Shenmue 1 & 2 are classic games that were better off remaining untouched classics. Sega made an attempt at bringing these games to the future, only to find that maybe they were best left as the found memories they were. Many of the things that made the game incredible at the time are now things that have been done significantly better by other games. Perhaps a better remaster treatment was necessary. Perhaps there are super fans of the game who appreciate the game playing exactly as it did so long ago. As a game for here and now, unfortunately this doesn’t stand the test of time.

SCORE: 4/10




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May 23rd, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Delays, delays, delays, also delays.

E3 is around the corner so you know how antsy I’m getting. I’m sure you’re feeling it just as much. I’m here today to hit you with all the bad news this week. It sucks but it is what it is. This one is going to be short so don’t miss it flying by. Behold the most negative LGR to date:

1. Shenmue 3 delayed to 2019!

I think it’s fair to say that I warned everyone reading that this was going to be more of an UnLucky recap. Rip the band-aid off quick and tell you out the gate, Shenmue 3 has been delayed. It was originally planned to come out fall of this year but given the lack of marketing and development progress you would be a fool to be surprised by this. Honestly, I have my doubts that it will even make it to release next year. Call me a pessimist (actually please don’t) but Shenmue 3 is quite a long way out. Good news; we are still getting the remastered versions of 1 and 2 this year. 

2. Metro Exodus delayed to 2019.

This delay on the other hand is super unexpected. If you don’t recall, Metro Exodus was the first game to show us a zombie bear in action at E3. It was terrifying. The game looked incredible and I’m pretty sure it had a playable demo as well. THQ Nordic bought Deep Silver which means this delay is most likely to make sure the marketing is labeled and handled properly. In this case I feel like this is more of a winning situation for fans of the series. You know, cause Red Dead Redemption is going to outshine everything this fall.

3. Bio-Mutant & Darksiders 3 release window uncertain?

By now some of you have realized that all these delays come from the same company. If you didn’t, it’s pretty clear now. THQ Nordic buying Deep Silver has put a big shift on the way the game release schedules are working. So the interesting new IP, Bio-Mutant, and the revival of an IP that should never have died, Darksiders 3, are both under revision for release. Fear not, this doesn’t mean these games are going bye bye, it just means they gotta cook in the oven a little longer. Still thinking this is good thing. Also thinking, news about THQ in 2018? Man if I could time travel, the old me would be all messed up. 

4. Skull and Bones delayed to at least 2019-2020

Not all dogs go to heaven and not all delays come from THQ. Sometimes they come from ridiculously incredible publishers with a ton of great IP’s. In this case the culprit is Ubisoft. And as much as I love to entertain the idea that this delay is to make room for the more exciting return of Splinter Cell, that’s probably not true. Skull and Bones is essentially the boat parts of Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft saw how terrible Sea of Thieves release was and they said “Uh oh, maybe we need more.” Boom and that’s how games are delayed, next question. Damn! 2020 though?

5. Okami HD Comes to Switch.

Because we are a small team and I’m terrible at finishing video games we had to pass on reviewing this when it released late last year. It’s okay though, now that it’s officially releasing on Nintendo Switch, Chet can experience with fresh eyes what I played on PS2. This is light news, but it does a little making up for all the delays right? Right? Please, just say yes. Oh and I just remembered a version of Okami came to Wii as well. Look at that. And Okami HD comes to Switch August 9th.

6. Stalking will be cool again starting 2021.

Well, stalking has never actually been cool. It had a brief moment when the classic survival series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, last title was released in 2009. That didn’t stop the announcement of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 from happening. Well technically happening again because the game was previously announced and then canceled in 2011. When this game releases it’ll officially have been a full decade since the last title. The funny thing about it is, that seems to be working for games pretty well lately. Examples include: Final Fantasy 15 & Last Guardian but not Duke Nukem. Absolutely not Duke Nukem. 

7. The Kingdom holding your heart will be yours, soon. 

I couldn’t be a complete ass and give you only bad news. Here I saved the best for last. Only the greatest news makes it to the end this week. Are you still with me? Alright here we go. Kingdom Hearts 3 will be officially arriving next month to tell you when it will be releasing for your gaming pleasure. That was fun. Yea so Square decided to indulge in the hype of this game by teasing a day they would provide a release date. Pay attention though folks, this month is May which means next month is June. June is E3. Half-Life 3 confirmed. 

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April 16th, 2018 by Vega Montanez

Fallout DLC Except It’s Real Life and it’s Pterrifying

Oh snap. It was quite a dull week in the gaming world. For the most part we were all kind of paying more attention to Call of Duty: Trump In Office DLC that opens with bombs over Syria. Not a political site, just letting ya know that’s also a thing that happened. So with the rumored announcement of Fallout: Real Word Crazy around the corner, let us come together as much as we can in honor of our favorite things. This week’s reason to feel like a lucky gamer (you know outside of being alive):

1. A new battle royale enters the battle royale.

And immediately receives backlash over pay to win DLC. The game, from Lawbreakers developer Boss Key Productions (yea, I know), is Radical Heights. And Radical Heights is set in a colorful 80’s inspired world and something about a game show element set in the year 2023. And Radical Heights sounds radical! I don’t know what else to say. Everything about this game sounds exciting as lion brawls. Oh, and did I mention that they immediately responded to the back lashes and made changes to satisfy the gamers? Word. Radical. The downside, of course there’s one, it’s only available on Steam.

2. Expand the universe, more Walking Dead.

Another Walking Dead game coming our way in Fall 2018! That’s right more amazing story telling with zombie blood shed everywhere. Even more incredible, the game looks amazing so far. The new “Maya” Trailer, which is obviously all CGI, makes me feel like they are putting some real intensity into the story being told. There hasn’t been much information about the game so far but it was confirmed to be a first person shooter. By the looks of it so far, this tiny glimpse of greatness, gives me hope that we won’t get another awful game like that first attempt starring the Dixon brothers.

3. Elder Abuse?

Probably the most shocking and outlandish news from the week comes from our sister industry, comic book land. Apparently someone felt that one of the most heralded creators of all time, Mr. Stan Lee, has been being abused by his daughter. He has since confirmed this is not happening and even threatened to go as far as suing the people who reported this nonsense. All reports show that Stan Lee is very upset by the allegations and I’m glad. It would suck to know that something like this is happening to a man I hold so much respect and admiration for. Continue being incredible and ignore the nonsense.

4. Check those warranties.

Like I said, it was a slow week in the games industry so I’m doing a little cross-over work. The FTC recently indicated that void warranty language on video game consoles is illegal. What does that mean? Well in my opinion it applies more to third party repairmen but check it. Threatening to void the console warranty for opening it or tampering with it for repair purposes is a no no. That is, unless they provide all the parts for you to do your own repairs for free. At least in its current phrasing. The companies who received the letters remain anonymous but they only have 30 days to make adjustments before legal action gets involved. Shouts to the FTC for having our backs with this one.

5. More games for Switch.

It feels like very week I’m compiling a list of games coming to the Nintendo Switch. Ports, remasters, new IP all being announced on the regular. This week is no different. First up we have Football Manager Touch. The football is for soccer. The game originally made for tablets and getting a complete remade system of their own. Next up we have more Sonic classics join gn the Switch gaming roster. Well it’s actually a whole slew of SEGA Genesis and Master System games which are primarily known for Sonic. Alongside that we also have the official release window for Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2. It’s coming to all consoles but I figured i’d throw it in this piece here. The games will be available sometime in July.

6. Shenmue.

That header should be enough to garner a few clicks. Shenmue 1 and 2 are being re-released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And they are coming at some point in 2018. The interesting part is the choice of words. This is a Re-release. So although they are talking about upscaling graphics and adjusting controls, the game is not being remastered. I personally can’t wait to play these games on newer consoles. I loved the Shenmue story and truly believe it paved the way for what is now the incredible Yakuza series. Final words: yes please.

7. Rumors and Relocations?

The first thing on the menu is a rumor that a new Bioshock game is in development at 2K. Yea that one had to come out swinging. Now as I said just a rumor swirling but this is the time of year where rumors really matter. And most of the time turn out true. But also don’t. Who knows. On the other hand we have a medieval style RPG being set in the Middle East. Knights of Light is a brand new RPG still in development that is promising to bring us to 7th century Iraq. The development team, Rumbling Games, is aiming for a 60 hour adventure for your PS4, Xbox One, or PC. Nothing more on that year, but stay tuned we may have some exclusives up our sleeves.

Final note: Our hearts go out to all the people of Syria who are feeling the direct impacts of the crazy world we live. 




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August 18th, 2017 by Vega Montanez

Whiskey, Shenmue, Delays, and Quake

Welcome back for another Lucky Gamer Recap! Now unfortunately this week was kind of dead on the news scene, but I dug deep to bring you the news you deserve. Why? Because, as a fellow Hard Mode Gamer, I care! Also because at this time my life would finish crumbling without something great to look forward to. With that said let’s get right into it!

1. The Final Fantasy Fighting game you never always knew you wanted gets official!

Although originally a PSP game (remember that old thing?) that was ported to arcades in japan, Final Fantasy Dissidia is getting a major overhaul and releasing on PS4. Oh yea bring on the fighting greatness. I loved this game on PSP but hated the lack of a second joystick so thats something I’m really looking forward to. Oh, and I guess it’s important to note it comes out on January 30, 2018.

2. Yakuza 6 comes with whiskey glasses

Ok, so technicallyy not entirely true but still a whiskey stone cold fact. Sega Announced that the Collector’s edition of Yakuza 6 will come with two Whiskey Glasses, two Ice Stones, and two Tojo Clan coasters (Oh my). The collectors edition retails for $89.99, is available preorder now, and releases on March 20, 2018 alongside the standard version. Guess somebody’s getting hammered while playing Yakuza 6.

3. Xbox One X Pre-Order details to be announced at Gamescon

Do you like news about news? Great, well here you go. Microsoft has officially confirmed that the Xbox One X will be partying hard with all the fine folks attending Gamescon 2017 on August 20th. Not much info has really been heard about the “most powerful console ever made” since it waved its no no square at us during E3 but I’m excited to see what else is in store, because I have to assume they aren’t going to take the stage just show me all the places I can buy one. Oh no, would they do that?

4. Shenmue 3 finally has a publisher attached.

This one is actually pretty exciting for me as a kills a few birds with one stone. The first bird is clarifying Sony’s position in this whole mess. Actually I take that back, I have no idea what Sony is doing in this pot. The second bird is clarifying how much of the Kickstarter money was needed and used to actually develop the game. Well, I guess this doesn’t really answer that either. The third bird is proving that this game is actually coming out. Now this one I am super confidant on because the publishing company taking on the task is Deep Silver. Those Deep Silver fellows are the ones who published to incredible games stateside – Persona 5 & Yakuza Kiwami – so i absolutely believe in them. There you have it folks, three birds one stone.

5. Crackdown 3 delayed!?

One of the most anticipated games of this console generation has been delayed, again. Microsoft announced that Crackdown 3, originally planned for November 7th release, has been pushed backed to “Spring 2018”. That is a major disappointment for people who were really looking forward to an exclusive title for their new Xbox One X. They cited the reason as “needing more time in the oven”. Who do they think they are fooling? I know games aren’t baked in ovens, they are created in deep fryers. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to find other amazing games to play this year.

6. The Good Life: A Swery Game

The developer behind one of the most cult classic cult classics of all time (Deadly Premonition, if you didn’t know what I was talking about you proved my pint) is at it again with a brand new game. Not only is this a new game but it has a title inspired by one of my favorite Kanye West tracks of all time. The Good Life is a mystery RPG that appears to be in line with the developers history of being completely weird. Just to some things up briefly: You play as a girl named Naomi who lives in a town where everyone turns into a cat at night. Your move Kojima.

7. Quake Champions Early Access begins soon.

How soon? Well it actually begin next Tuesday August 22nd. Early access will cost you a warm fee of $30 exactly $10 cheaper than waiting for the games full release some day in 2018. I’m not entirely behind this whole “Pay for the demo” concept but for those of you who are, prime opportunity to get the edge on your competition. Oh and I guess it’s worth mentioning along with your demo purchase you will receive exclusive loot chest, skins, and a “guarantee” that at least six new champions will be released between now and the end of 2018. Yea, nope, still not paying for a demo.




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